Shri Jairam Ramesh, MP, Rajya Sabha Inaugurates Devaraj Urs Centre For Development Studies At MYRA On July 30, 2016
Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Honorable Member of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha and former Union Minister of Environment, inaugurated the Devaraj Urs Centre for Development Studies at MYRA on July 30, 2016.
MYRA has established the ‘Devaraj Urs Centre for Development Studies’ (DCDS) with the objective of focusing the attention on the Development Challenges of the “excluded”. Exclusion is of diverse types — caste, religion, gender, region, etc. The Centre is dedicated to the memory Shri. D Devaraj Urs, a social reformer and champion of the backward classes.
Dr. Shalini Urs in her welcome address outlined the context of the establishment of this centre – the Centenary Celebration of Shri. D Devaraj Urs and the focus of MYRA on the Triple Bottom Line (Profits; People; Planet) i.e. the inclusion of the People and Planet into the business development agenda.
Dr. Panini gave a detailed overview, the mission, objective and the action plan for the centre. He emphasized the fact that the Devaraj Urs Centre for Development Studies would be the fulcrum for both research as well as special activities relating to sustainable development.
Shri. Jairam Ramesh in his inimitable style and erudition lamented that India is the only country in the world to exclude people on the basis of birth. While India might have provided unique ID to its billion + population, the unfortunate fact remains that the identity of caste, creed and religion has stuck to the people and we are far from moving away from such identities. He emphasized that whether the GDP is 8% or more, it should be expanded to include the excluded. He underlined the fact that ‘Politics’ has become very inclusive — where the excluded are in a majority. While Mayavati was inconceivable 50 years back, today she is a formidable political force.
While lauding the contribution of Shri. D Devaraj Urs, he said he was the champion who was able to bring about a social revolution sans violence within the democratic framework.
In his concluding remark, he quoted Dr. B R Ambedkar’s, ‘Educate, Agitate and Organize’ concept and said that it has given meaningful message to the people in the context of true development. One must first get ‘educated’ before one can ‘agitate’ for rights to begin the movement so that people can ‘organize’ with support, he explained. His message to the students was that they study the issues of exclusion in depth as it would make them aware of the ground realities in a profession considered to be elitist in nature and approach as the study of Development entails both a grasp of the concrete situations and the generalities of issues.
The Q & A session focused on the demand model for development rather than gift model. While answering a question about getting the Government to respond about social issues, he emphasized that public outcry and demand; judicial intervention in addition to the executive are perhaps the best strategy. Citing the example of Nirbhaya act, he said his Government came up with this act in a record 3 days in response to the public outcry.
Preceding the Centre inauguration, the symposium on ‘Development – what it means to the excluded’ began with a welcome address by Dr. Shrijay Devaraj Urs, Executive Director, MYRA School of Business, who outlined the context of the Centre and the Symposium to bring focus back to on the development agenda to be inclusive and sustainable. Prof. Panini set the tone of the symposium by highlighting the importance of study of “exclusion.” The symposium was formally inaugurated with the traditional lighting of the lamp by Prof. B K Chandrashekar, Former Chairman, Karnataka Legislative Council, Former Minister Government of Karnataka, and an acclaimed academician.
Prof. P K Misra, Former Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Mysore and Dr. Tarun Chhabra, a practicing dentist and Founder & Managing Trustee, Edhkwehlynawd Botanical Refuge (EBR), contributed to the symposium with their rich perspectives on the issues of the exclusion in development, facing the country today.
The various speakers offered rich tributes to the former Chief Minister highlighting the reforms he brought in during his 2 tenures as Chief Minister to uplift the oppressed classes in the State – the silent social revolution he led; launching of the stipendiary schemes to help unemployed graduates; abolishing the practicing of carrying night soil by Dalits; spearheading the land reforms to equalize and redistribute land throughout the state. Supporting the founding of Electronics City in Bangalore highlighting his modern approach to Development. The speakers appreciated the leader for ushering in revolutionary changes in society aimed at the welfare of the poor and the downtrodden.
Dr. Sudhindra Seshadri, Senior Associate Dean of the institution delivered the vote of thanks.